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Archive for the ‘Investment Commentary’ Category

Ask a Trust Officer: Cryptocurrency Taxes

Dear Trust Officer: Last year I bought ten Ethereum coins for $2,000 each.  I was planning to trade them for an NFT (a non-fungible token), an art investment that has become popular lately.  My coins are now worth about $3,500 each, and I’ve found the NFT that I want.  Do I have to worry about…

2022 Q1 Review and Outlook – Stocks and Bonds and Yield Curves, Oh My!

2022 got off to a rocky start as stocks (as measured by the S&P 500 SPDR ETF – SPY) lost 4.6% in the first quarter. Surprisingly (or perhaps not surprisingly) the U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) was down 5.9%, and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio lost 5.1%.  Over…

Ask a Trust Officer: Crisis Investing

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: What portfolio management steps should I take on account of the new war in Europe? —UNSETTLED INVESTOR DEAR UNSETTLED: First, depending upon what you own, an impact will be made on your portfolio by the actions taken by multinational companies, many of whom already have cut their ties with Russia.  So even…

Estate Planning For Cryptocurrency

Digital currencies (or cryptocurrencies) such as bitcoin are not just a fad.  They are resources with potentially significant value, which is why the IRS is increasingly focusing enforcement efforts on collecting data in this area. In 2014 the IRS ruled that cryptocurrency is “property” rather than currency. Accordingly, cryptocurrency is subject to capital gains tax…

2021 Q3 Review and Outlook – Inflation, Stagflation or Neither?

The well-stimulated economy continued to power along in the third quarter of 2021, but the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) barely squeaked out a 0.6% gain. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) was flat (-0.01% return), and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio gained 0.3%.  Year to date,…

2021 Q1 Review and Outlook: “I believe that markets will fluctuate.”

The U.S. stock market continued to climb out of and above the hole it dug in 2020, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 6.4% in the 1st quarter. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) declined 3.4%, and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio gained 2.5%. For…

Ask a Trust Officer: Roth IRA versus Traditional IRA

DEAR TRUST OFFICER:   I have $6,000 to put into an IRA before I file my tax return for 2020.  Which is better, the traditional IRA or the Roth IRA? — TARDY SAVER DEAR TARDY:   There is no simple answer to your question, unfortunately.  Do you qualify for the tax deduction for the contribution…

2020 Q4 Review and Outlook: A Very Good/Very Bad Year

Imagine two archivists sifting through old stock charts 1,000 years from now and saying to each other “2020 must have been a great year!”  The U.S. stock market finished a very bad year on a very strong note, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 12.1% in the 4th quarter. The U.S. bond market (as measured…

Annuities: Approach with Caution (Free Dinners Aren’t Free)

Have you ever received a mailer about a “free dinner” at a local restaurant? All you must do to earn your $50 steak and $12 glass of cabernet sauvignon is listen to a “financial advisor” give you a pitch about “strategies to protect your nest-egg,” or “how to ensure a stress-free retirement in these turbulent…